Turn Dumbbells Into Kettlebells

Kettlebells can replace dumbbells as a new way to get in shape using free weights at the gym. If you're thinking about making the switchover to kettlebells, don't throw away or sell your old dumbbells. With just a few materials and some ingenuity, you can convert your old dumbbells into kettlebells and save yourself some cash. Also, if you decide afterward that you're not happy with the kettlebells, you can simply change them back into dumbbells.

  1. Prime the three 4-inch lengths of PVC pipe and the two PVC elbows using a paint brush and the PVC primer. When dry, apply the PVC cement to the inside of the ends of the two elbows. Attach a 4-inch length of PVC pipe to the two elbows and the remaining two lengths of 4-inch PVC pipe to the other ends of elbows, forming a U-shaped handle.

  2. Tie a hitch knot on both sides of your rope to allow for adjustment around the dumbbell, and tie a figure 8 knot behind the hitch knot as a stopper (see Resources).

  3. Thread the rope through the PVC handle.

  4. Attach the inside handle of the dumbbell to the PVC handle using the hitch knots. Pull the knots tight to ensure they hold during use.


    Make sure that the glue used to keep the PVC handle together has set properly before using it.

    Exercise using your modified dumbbells as you would a kettlebell.


    Don't use weak rope that can fray and rip easily under stress. Kettlebell workouts use a lot of swinging motions, and a broken swing could result in a rogue flying kettlebell.

Things Needed

  • 3 lengths of 1.5-inch thick PVC pipe, each 4 inches long.
  • 2 1.5-inch-thick PVC elbows
  • PVC primer and cement
  • Paint brush
  • 8 feet of rope, bungee cord or tie-down strap
  • Dumbbells

About the Author

Bryan Lutz began writing professionally in 2009. He has been published in his collegiate newspaper, "The Signal," as well as various literary magazines. Lutz holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative/professional writing from The College of New Jersey.